- "Like the Ahemmusa, they are surprisingly peaceable and friendly even to outlanders, although they are somewhat greedy and arrogant as well. Zainab is, in a way, the oddest of the tribes in that they follow the old ways, but they are extremely interested in the change that has overtaken Vvardenfell. They freely trade with the Great Houses, and some have even sought to forge more firm business deals with Houses like Hlaalu. All in all, one gets the impression that Zainab is the most willing to adapt, even if they will not entirely leave their Ashlander lifestyle behind." — Ulran Releth, "Ashlander Tribes and Customs"
The Zainab Tribe is one of the four distinct tribes of the Ashlanders of Vvardenfell, in the province of Morrowind. The Zainab is the most populated tribe in all of Vvardenfell, and are surprisingly more open to Outlanders and House Dunmer, though they can be greedy and arrogant in their business. They are merchants by heart and collect a wide variety of goods to trade amongst each other and their neighbors. The Zainab is a mix of open to change and retaining Ashlander customs. They commonly live in the Zainab Camp, in the hills of the Grazelands, on the outskirts of the Telvanni town of Vos, and near the ruins of Nchuleft. Here they reap the wealth across the lands for trade and harvesting. The Zainab Tribe are known to collect the royal wax of a Kwama Queen, specifically when it sometimes hardens into a jewel-like pit. It is used in various crafts and religious ceremonies.
The Zainab Tribe was founded by Akami Zainab many years ago as one of the First Ashkhans. Akami's cairn was established near Ald'ruhn, along the riverside of the Foyada Drura. In order to gain his blessing, one must offer a jeweled cuttle.
During the Interregnum around 2E 582, the Zainab Camp was established in the hills of the Grazelands, hidden from the road, south of both Nchuleft and Vos. The tribe would occasionally gather at the encampment of Ald'ruhn. The blessing of Akami Zainab, along with the other First Ashkhans, was what allowed House Dunmer to mingle with the Ashlanders, which would subsequently lead to the founding of the city of Ald'ruhn.
During the Blight outbreak in 3E 427, the Zainab Camp was found in the same location it has been for many years. The Ashkhan of the Zainab was Kaushad, who maintained strong connections with the House Dunmer but cared less of policy within his own camp. At this time, the Nerevarine had appeared on Vvardenfell, working with the Urshilaku Tribe in fulfilling the Nerevarine Prophecy. In order to gain the Ashkhan's trust, the Nerevarine was sent to kill a lurking Vampire at the Nerano Ancestral Tomb. But even then, Kaushad was not satisfied. His next request was for a bride, a high-born Telvanni lady. The Wise-Woman, Sonummu Zabamat had sent the Nerevarine to the town of Tel Aruhn, where they would buy a slave and pose them as a noble. The slave, Falura Llervu was bought, and posed as a noblewoman of Velothis Haven. With everything set, the Ashkhan had recognized the warrior as the Nerevarine.
- Akami Zainab